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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Family Visit

Mom and Dad picked me up at the airport, having already commandeered Cathy for the afternoon, and we went over the river and through several woods to see Uncle Jere and Betty a couple days before Christmas.

Uncle Jere provided plenty of entertainment, to be sure. He had me in stitches by the end of the meal, such a whippersnapper he seemed. :-)
Beef and noodles, an echo of the Hungarian paprikash, that was deeee-lish! And of course I couldn't say no to a Grasshopper Pie (Dad & Co. helped)...
Camaro love must run in the family...
Cathy and I loving the decor...
Mom and Betty...
Betty's Christmas village...
Oh, and this is the view I want when I get to be in a position to relax...

Proof Positive!

Evidence of my overabundant good intentions! Hahaha...

Watermelon radishes

Aren't they beauties? Kind of like pomegranate seeds, they look like jewels. :-)
I had them sliced up with creamy butter and salt, and I felt very French. Mwah!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dinner Party!

Ok, so I'm shifting back to chronological order here. The cabbage soup was a couple days ago, but this goes back to Dec 3rd. I know, I know. All part of the plan...I had a dinner party menu all planned out. It looked like this:

Chicken Pesto Pasta
Kale Greens with Garlic

And it involved strong-arming the invitees into helping in the kitchen, believe you me...
...which was worth it, since they got this in return! Yum.


I'd give the pasta a 7/10 (but maybe that's because I had to eat the rest of the pound of pasta for the next week), the galette a 9 (good crust), and the greens an 8.

Oh! And how could I forget- I made gingerbread! That's what's in that picture up above with the box of dry pasta. For this I had to get a special ingredient which I didn't have on hand- can you guess??

Molasses! Yum. The gingerbread came out really well, I thought, but then it was the first time I'd either eaten or made homemade gingerbread, so we'll give it a qualified 9.5. ;-)

And oh yes, I made Saqib wash the dishes with only half a sponge. He signaled his displeasure. Jess was much in much better spirits about the whole thing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

If ever there was soup weather...

THIS is it!
Wow. More than a week of temps in the 20s, "Feels Like" the Teens... I thought this recipe would be perfect: Rustic Cabbage Soup, from 101 Cookbooks.
Something about the sound of "cabbage soup" has me thinking, "peasant fare," in a way that "cabbage rose wallpaper" just doesn't. And it delivers. Warms you up and keeps you full long enough to visit the farmer's market, round out the list at the grocery store, browse at the used bookstore, and pick up some scrap wood to fix a sagging closet shelf. And then fix the shelf. Yes, that was my schedule this morning. I know I should really stop with all that glamour stuff- is it making you feel bad? Sorry...
And plus, I had gotten cabbage and needed to use it. I think the original purpose involved a California-type Napa cabbage salad, but after the last couple weeks, soup just sounds so much more appealing, doesn't it?It came out pretty well. 4-5 servings. I added thyme, coriander and a soup├žon of dill. It was a little salty, which I attribute to too much Better Than Bouillon broth, so keep that in mind (I think 4 cups of broth might be just perfect, but it depends how you like your soup).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving...

Family pictures! Many more to sort through and choose from, but this is to whet the appetite! :-)
Ah, the lovely torment dished out to the elders... let the torment commence!
Warming up for...
An all-family shot! Good one, guys...
A candid one here...
And The Guys, caught in the act...
That puzzle was fun- the Sistine Chapel, from Michelle to Mom a few years ago. Oh, and dinner turned out to be corned beef, my favorite. Gosh, how'd you know, Mom? Oh yeah, I asked for it 'expecially' :-) Coming home is great.

Bittman on Brussels Sprouts

This one's from November 23rd- I am going chronologically by my pictures so that I don't miss anything!

Here was my inspiration: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Figs on the NYT site from Mark Bittman. I like watching his videos, as he's funny, he makes it look easy, and it cements the recipe in my mind better [clue: Visual Learner!]. In this one, I learned how one is supposed to use the slicer/ shredder disc in the food processor, without having to dig out the instruction booklet. *Yessssss!*
So, I didn't have figs, but I did have some chi-chi pancetta for the first time, and it made it extra special, along with the balsamic vinegar :-) I made this like 3 times in one week, and didn't tire of it. That's how good it makes brussels sprouts taste!